A London judge reserved her decision in the request by Huron County residents to have current wind farm construction halted until they have their day in court.
Superior Court Justice Lynne Leitch will give her decision “as soon as possible” after hearing arguments regarding the St. Columban and K2 wind farm projects, one of the biggest in Ontario.
Those living close to the projects asked Leitch to stay – or set aside – the renewable energy agreements issued in July that would build 159 wind turbines near Seaforth and outside of Goderich.
Shawn Drennan, a resident of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh (ACW), lives in the area of the K2 wind farm project, which would see the construction of 140 wind turbines.
Drennan said he wasn’t surprised that Leitch did not make a decision the first day in court.
“I anticipated it. It’s a complicated matter,” he said.
The stay, if granted, would halt construction until a constitutional argument is made before the divisional court starting on Nov. 18.
The group is arguing there are potential health risks attached to the turbines because of low frequency sound.
In Drennan’s view, there should be federal and provincial health studies on the effects of wind turbines.
The group is represented by Julian Falconer, a well-known constitutional lawyer.
Lawyers for the multi-national companies behind the projects say there is no scientific proof that the turbines affect human health.
Drennan is running for the position of reeve for ACW and his dealings with the municipality on the K2 wind farm projects is one of the reasons.
“We (concerned citizens) have asked for the township to call themselves an unwilling host and they refused. It’s one of the catalysts (for him seeking the position of ACW reeve),” Drennan said.
He said local governments have the power to decide what other development proceeds in their municipalities.
To him, this poses the question of why they were not given that same power for wind turbines.
Drennan said he was also left unsatisfied with what he called “the lack of ability of the public to speak” on the wind farm.
As far as the court cases go, Drennan said they are in it for the long haul.
“I fully expect this to go to the Supreme Court of Canada.”
– with files from Dave Flaherty and Jane Sims
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